Thursday, November 19, 2009

Is SOA Everywhere?

The title of this post reflects a very interesting question that I came across today on the ebizQ SOA forum where I am a contributing analyst.

Joe McKendrick explains his question as "while some viewed SOA as failed or dead, a different reality may have taken root. That is, everything about IT - developing, integrating, embedding, and modeling - is now done in a service-oriented way, or with service orientation as the goal. Have SOA principles become so ubiquitous they have simply melded into the background?"

As I pondered over the answer, I was reminded of the story of a very talented painter named Zeuxis, who could paint amazingly life-like pictures. Once he painted a painting of a boy carrying a basket of ripe red cherries. When he hung this painting outside his door, some birds flew down and tried to carry the cherries away. "Ah! this picture is a failure," he said. "For if the boy had been as well painted as the cherries, the birds would have been afraid to come near him."

The moral of the story is that if an SOA is done correctly, it should meld into the background rather than sticking out like a sore thumb. Conversely, good SOAs are hard to find not because they don't exist but because they have become part of the fabric of the enterprise.

* Originally posted on the ebizQ SOA Forum on 11/19/2009

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